Newfoundlanders make star turns at ISC world championship

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Cleary, Mullaley and Blair Ezekiel all named to first all-star team

The 2010 International Softball Congress (ISC) men’s world fastball tournament in Midland, Mich., featured star turns by many of the 13 Newfoundland natives who participated.

None shone brighter than Sean Cleary.

The Harbour Main native, playing for the Pennsylvania Power, was a perfect 4-0, with two no-hitters at the ISC tourney and was named the first team all-world pitcher.

Cleary, who plays locally for the Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs of the St. John’s senior league, registered his no-nos in a 15-strikeout win over host Midland Mickey’s Sleds and a 17-strikeout, 7-1 win over the Port Huron Shawn Chiropractic.

Overall, Cleary allowed seven hits, 14 walks and two earned runs over 31 innings, giving him a tournament-best 0.45 ERA while striking out 64. At the plate, he hit .313, scored three runs and had a pair of RBIs.

The Jarvis Travelers, whose roster includes St. John’s natives Sean and Robbie O’Brien, won the ISC crown, defeating another Ontario-based team, the Kitchener Rivershark Twins, 4-1 in Sunday’s championship game.

Sean O’Brien scored and drove in a run in the title match and was named the all-world second team catcher.

The O’Briens have lived in and played out of Ontario for a number of years, however Sean will play as an import for 3 Cheers Pub/Bud Light, one of two  Newfoundland  entries for the 2010 Canadian senior men’s softball championship, which begins in Charlottetown, P.E.I., later this month.

Brothers Brad and Blair Ezekiel of Harbour Main played for Kitchener, as did Darrell Joy, yet another native of that Conception Bay Central community.

Blair Ezekiel was selected a first-team all-star after hitting .450 and driving in five runs. Also named a first team all-star selection was outfielder Stephen Mullaley of Freshwater, who scored four runs and drove in four more for New York/Chicago Fastpitch.

Other Newfoundlanders competing in Midland included Jason Hill (New York/Chicago Fastpitch), Ward Gosse (Albaugh Inc.), Geoff Evely (Saskatoon Diamondbacks Fastpitch Club), Mike Noftall (Quyon Combat Flyers), Sean Whitten (Taylor Farms California A’s), and Ryan Boland (Minnesota Angels).

Hill, Brad Ezekiel, Evely, Gosse and Mullaley will also be playing for 3Cheers in Charlottetown, as will Whitten, who is considered an import as he now resides in Calgary.

Organizations: Pennsylvania Power, Albaugh, Diamondbacks Fastpitch Club Flyers

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Port Huron Shawn, New York Ontario Newfoundland Kitchener Conception Bay Midland Chicago Saskatoon Minnesota Calgary

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  • Arwen
    August 30, 2010 - 14:01

    It doesn't matter what sport you play, everyone deserves recognition for their accomplishments and the hard work they put into it. Its a testament to the type of athletes Newfoundland produces. Most of the above mentioned are good at all sports and not just softball. They are all well rounded athletes. I am very proud to call most of them friends and wish them luck in the Canadian Championships in PEI! I'd like to see you get in front of one of Sean Cleary's pitches!!

  • Doug
    August 25, 2010 - 22:04

    Johnny and the rest of the corner boys. This is a great sport and these fellas deserve full credit for their accomplishments. I would challenge you to face any of these atheletes in the sport of your choice, to see how successful you would be. Mullaley would beat you in any forum you choose! The best of them all - Abbott would proabably be a major league batting champ had he grown up in California playing baseball. Do your research, softball requires greater hand eye coordination than baseball. Keep this great sport alive.

  • Bobby Kent
    August 24, 2010 - 18:43

    Nice to see Newfs do well away from home, no matter what sport it is. Good job fellas

  • Jonny
    August 24, 2010 - 12:15

    ya, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I Just realized it was even received some great television coverage, I heard they will be making it into an ESPN movie soon. It really gets me excited for the wild card and divisional series coming up in the major league of softball. Oh and I cant wait to watch the world series of softball this year. To have a debate about the popularity of softball is absurd, baymen play it, no one else does. I'm especially sick of hearing about how difficult it is to play because you play on a field for 8-12 year olds.

  • shane
    August 24, 2010 - 12:01

    There once was a group of SOFTBALL players who put a team in the intermediate BASEBALL provincials, all having no experience with the sport. THEY WON!!! Got anything else to say there JONNY?? So basically your 'game of ball' is easier than ours. Consider this an invitation to play a game at Lion's Park anytime you like.

  • andy
    August 24, 2010 - 10:17

    yes now and what sport may i ask do you play jonny? volleyball

  • Ha
    August 24, 2010 - 09:54

    How does it deligitimize a sport because 13 newfoundlanders played in it ? You have no idea what your talking about. When the Senior Mens Fastball championships where here in Newfoundland there were over 75,000 people go down to the caribou complex and watch it. Much more than any baseball event EVER held in Atlantic Canada let alone Newfoundland. Newfoundlanders are just good at this sport. Your just ignorant of this sport and have no idea what your talking about JONNY. The best fastpitch pitcher in the world tournament was clocked at 91MPH from 46 Feet. Thats extremely fast much faster than baseball. Maybe if you had any idea about the sport its rules and the players that play it you could have a valid opinion. there where over 50 teams in the tournament and these are only the best teams in the world thus why its called the world tournament so someone obviously plays it. anyways my point is proven. You deligitimize your opinon cause you have no idea what your saying.

  • Jonny
    August 24, 2010 - 08:01

    Doesn't the fact that 13 newfoundlanders played in an international tournament deligitimize this farce of a sport? Give me a break, no one else plays this sport around the world but yet rural newfoundlanders think so highly of this "game of ball".

    • Scout
      August 24, 2010 - 10:03

      There was 48 teams in this tourney with players from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US and Japan....I think this sport is played by quite a few. This is the "Club team" world championship, which means these players we're recruited to play for these teams, which says alot about our talent here in the province. Among these 13, most we're invited to our National team camp (I guess they lost your letter in the mail JONNY). THis is probably the only sport we play here in the province that is a perennial contender at nationals every year. Jonny my friend, just because your no good at it doesnt mean our "game of ball" isnt important to us here on the rock. Cheers!